Positive momentum is a fickle creature, hard to maintain and apt to sudden changes in direction.
The Washington Redskins hope the surge of momentum gained after Sunday's 38-26 win over the Minnesota Vikings (4-2) carries over to next week against the New York Giants, the beginning of the team's division schedule.
Inside linebacker Perry Riley said he was encouraged by the Redskins' ability to close out a victory against the Vikings after giving up leads to the St. Louis Rams, Cincinnati Bengals and Atlanta Falcons.
"We knew Minnesota was a good team coming into this game, but we have been in every game this season and lost some close ones," Riley said. "We just knew we had to learn how to finish off games in the fourth quarter."
Learning to finish, Riley said, is something the team needs to focus on heading into the a treacherous stretch of the schedule.
"Being able to close out [the Vikings] game gives us a lot of confidence going into the Giants' game," Riley said. "We were able to beat [the Giants] twice last year, which gives them an edge to beat us. We've just got to do it again."
The Giants enter Sunday's matchup against the Redskins with the division's best record at 4-2, though they are 0-2 in NFC East games so far this season.
The reigning Super Bowl champion Giants are also riding high after winning a rematch of the NFC Conference title game from a year ago, beating the NFC West-leading 49ers, 26-3, on Sunday.
Wide receiver Santana Moss said he thinks his team will be ready for Sunday's big game.
"They're a division rival and we just want to go out there and do the best we can against them," Moss said. "We know that they're the Super Bowl champs and all that other stuff comes with it, but it's New York.
"They're in the NFC East and we've got to take care of business."
After all, you never know what will happen with some momentum on your side.
"NFC East games are always a battle," outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said. "They're a lot of fun to play in, too, because so much is on the line each NFC East game, and it's good to get a win this week to boost our confidence going into the Giants game."